On the 19th May the government issued a press release designating seven offshore wind projects as ‘Relevant Project’ status. The projects selected were either substantially advanced or were granted a lease under the foreshore act 1993 or had a line of sight (or had secured) a connection valid connection agreement.

The announcement is being celebrated by the industry as a significant step forward in the development of offshore wind projects in Ireland, to meet the potential that Irish shores have to offer.

Ireland is in a unique fortuitous position our maritime is 490,000 square kilometres of some of the most productive resource in the world (seven times the size of landmass of Ireland at 70,000 Square Kilometres) The Atlantic Ocean, Irish and Celtic seas have a potential resource that can play a significant role in meeting the Government’s target of 70% of all electricity to be generated from renewable sources.

The Marine Planning and Development Management (“MPDM” ) Bill once enacted will establish three elements for development of offshore projects, namely;

  • Grant of Planning by relevant minister
  • Grant of Planning Permission by An Bord Pleanala
  • Grant of Maritime Area Consent (“MAC”)

‘Relevant Projects’ are deemed to have fulfilled stage one therefore accelerating applications to the next stage and significantly allowing development companies of these seven projects priority in accessing the planning process.